Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Twins had interest in re-signing Scott Baker, and the righthander had interest in coming back to Minnesota, but negotiations reached a sticking point before Baker agreed to sign with the Cubs on Tuesday.
Baker's new deal with the Cubs will pay him $5.5 million guaranteed, with an additional $1.5 million in incentives, a person familiar with the contract confirmed.
Baker missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery in his right elbow. The Twins declined a $9.25 million option for next year, letting him become a free agent.
Two weeks ago, Baker said the sides were making progress toward a new deal. But, according to the person familiar with his new contract, the Twins insisted on the deal including an option for 2014. Baker, 31, wanted a deal that would let him re-establish his value and then test the market again next fall.
In the end, the Twins weren't really that close, so Baker is heading to the Cubs. He went 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA in seven years with Minnesota.
The Twins are moving forward with Scott Diamond as the only starter penciled into their 2013 starting rotation.
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